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interview

Sharine Taylor

Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of BASHY Magazine

Award-winning, Toronto-based writer, critic, editor, producer and director, the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of  BASHY Magazine and curator/archivist behind chronicles of dancehall. Bylines have appeared on Noisey, The FADER, BuzzFeed, Pitchfork, and more. 

Sharine Taylor

Where are you based?

Currently Toronto, but I’m normally between here and Kingston, Jamaica.

Where do you work? What do you do?

I’m a freelancer, but my work can be found in a variety of publications like Dazed, The FADER, Nylon, RedBull Music Academy, Kinfolk, and elsewhere.

What are you listening to?

Right now, I’ve been listening to a lot of power soca, especially made by artists from Grenada and St. Vincent like Skinny Fabulous, Problem Child, and Lil Natty and Thunda, mostly to help me navigate and digest what’s happening around the globe with protests sparked by anti-Black racism and police brutality. Of course, I’m also always listening to my regular rotation of artists: Protoje, Sevana, Lila Ike (have likely single handedly  ran up all the numbers for “Stars Align”), Tessellated, Stalk Ashley, Leno Banton, iotosh’s productions under his Sound Ting label, and other incredible artists from Jamaica.

How do you discover new music?

I live on Twitter, Instagram and SoundCloud because that’s where I find out about a lot of new artists. A lot of people I know are involved in the music industry in different capacities too, either as A&Rs, producers, directors, etc., so I get a bit of insight from everywhere when they post who they’re working with or what they’re doing.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services? Why?

Streaming services just because they’re the most accessible.

Where do you do most of your music listening?

En route to places, or while I’m cleaning or cooking.

How do you find and listen to pre-release music?

Usually from the artists directly or from publicists and labels! I’m a bit anal about listening to music, espescially albums, so I dedicate time in my schedule to basically sit and focus all my attention on the project with my favourite headphone set. I do believe listening to music is an active process, so I try to give all of myself when I do so, and especially when I’m listening to a project for the first time.

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?

I really do appreciate a well-mastered project or record, so that’s definitely an element of listening to music digitally that I enjoy. You get to hear how textured something really is, and I feel like that heightens the experience, for me at least. The only frustration with listening to music digitally is that it’s not live (though I do appreciate digitized live recordings)!

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?

I revisit my listening history on any of the platforms that I use and make private playlists out of records I really like. When I listen to DJ mix, though, it’s a little bit harder (cause they often don’t come equipped with the tracklist), so I jot down a few of the lyrics, or if it’s a soca or dancehall mix, I try to see if I can remember the name of the riddim, or an artist on it.

Discover the #HowWeListen Playlist

Listen to the #HowWeListen 2021 Picks playlist. Curated by this year’s interviewees.

Listen on Spotify

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?

Ha ha, sometimes when I really like an artist, I want to be the first to write about them, so I keep it a secret, which is an incredibly selfish practise. Otherwise, I make playlists and try to share new music and artists I’m listening to there.

Anything you want to “promote”?

I have a sporadic newsletter called sincerely, sharine which is loaded with musings on just about everything, and I make really awesome playlists on Audiomack, like my sporadically updated “sharine’s selections” sharing fresh sounds from Caribbean artists.

I’m a bit anal about listening to music, especially albums, so I dedicate time in my schedule to sit and focus all my attention on the project with my favourite headphone set.

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